News / Africa

Ivory Coast PM Tries to Ease Concern Over Vote Count

An unidentified man reacts to a campaign poster for incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, as presidential campaigning kicked off 15 Oct 2010 in Abidjan
An unidentified man reacts to a campaign poster for incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, as presidential campaigning kicked off 15 Oct 2010 in Abidjan

Multimedia

Audio

Ivory Coast's Prime Minister is trying to resolve concerns about how the votes in Sunday's presidential election will be counted.

With just five days to go before Ivory Coast's long-delayed presidential election, Prime Minister Guillaume Soro wants to reassure voters that their ballots will be counted properly.

Less than one week ago, the country's electoral commission announced that all votes would be counted by hand as results move from prefecture to communal to department to regional levels, until the final candidate totals are announced in Abidjan.

The prime minister's office then announced it is hiring a local company to count those votes electronically.  The Information Technology Localization and Security Company (SILS Tehnologie) supervised Ivorian vote counting in 2007.

But the company's involvement in this election has drawn complaints from some opposition candidates and some members of the electoral commission because it is a subsidiary of a firm led by Ahoua Don Mello, a close associate of President Laurent Gbagbo, who is running for re-election.

Mello spoke at a campaign event for President Gbagbo Friday saying a manual count of votes would "leave the door open for every possible adventure."  If the country wants to avoid drama, Mello says, it should avoid counting the votes by hand.

For many opposition candidates, the potential technological benefits of counting the votes electronically does not offset the risk of possible fraud because of Mello's involvement in the Gbagbo campaign.

The Movement of Future Forces Party Secretary General Philippe Legre calls the company's involvement in this vote a provocation by President Gbagbo's party to violate the independence of the electoral commission.

So Prime Minister Soro now says SILS Technologie will be joined in the electronic vote counting by a committee of independent experts including technicians from his office, the electoral commission, the Swedish technology firm Crypto AG and the U.N. observer mission.

Sindou Meite, the prime minister's spokesman, says the committee of experts will work with SILS Technology to secure the results and guarantee their authenticity in full transparency.  He says nothing will be done to undermine the authority of the electoral commission, which remains the only institution authorized to announce the results.

Meite says the prime minister wants to reassure voters that the October 31 presidential election will be transparent in every respect and there will be no manipulation of results that might cast doubt on the integrity of the process.

This vote to reunite the country after a brief civil war has been repeatedly delayed since 2005.  If no one wins an outright majority in this first round, a second round of voting is expected in late November.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs